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WVU to host national Appalachian Studies Conference

An aerial shot of WVU's downtown campus

WVU will host the 45th Appalachian Studies Conference March 17-20. (WVU Photo)

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WHAT: The 45th annual “Appalachian Studies Conference: Making, Creating and Encoding: Crafting Possibilities in Appalachia,” hosted by West Virginia University

WHO: Researchers and experts from across the country devoted to the study and promotion of Appalachia

WHEN: Thursday through Sunday (March 17-20) 

WHERE: WVU Mountainlair

NOTES: Craftivism, podcasting and hip-hop performances are just a few of the events slated for the 45th annual Appalachian Studies Conference, which will delve into all things Appalachia.

The keynote speaker for the four-day conference will be Deesha Philyaw, whose debut short story collection, “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies,” has earned numerous awards and is being turned into an HBO Max series. The book was published by WVU Press. Philyaw will speak Friday (March 18) at 7:30 p.m. at the Canady Creative Arts Center. 

Travis Stimeling, WVU professor of musicology and one of the conference organizers, said this will be the first time the University has hosted the conference since 1995. Attendees can expect a potpourri of activities, presentations and workshops centered on Appalachian culture and issues.

“Historically, the conference is where activists, scholars and creative people get together to share interesting things they’ve done and vibe off each others’ work,” Stimeling said. “Here we’ll have a mix of folks who code, as well as do old-school arts and crafts. We’ll have presentations on topical matters such as public health, education and how arts raise aware of social justice issues.”

Around 800 participants are expected.

Read more about the conference and find registration information.



CONTACT: Jake Stump
WVU Research Communications

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